The State of Louisiana has passed a new law requiring hospitality employers to display a poster in their workplace with information regarding the National Human Trafficking Resource Center (“NHTRC”) hotline. The law, which currently requires certain businesses (such as strip clubs, massage parlors, full service fuel facilities adjacent to an interstate highway or highway rest stop, and outpatient abortion facilities) to display information regarding the NHTRC hotline, has been expanded to include hotels.
Beginning August 1, 2016, all hotels in Louisiana must display a poster regarding the NHTRC hotline. The new law defines a “hotel” as “any establishment, both public and private, engaged in the business of furnishing or providing rooms and overnight camping facilities intended or designed for dwelling, lodging, or sleeping purposes to transient guests and does not encompass any hospital, convalescent or nursing home or sanitarium, or any hotel-like facility operated by or in connection with a hospital or medical clinic providing rooms exclusively for patients and their families.”
The law specifically exempts camps and retreat facilities owned and operated by non-profit organizations and bed and breakfasts.
The State of Louisiana has provided a model poster, but employers may choose to create their own, so long as it follows the following guidelines: the poster must, in 14 point bold font on an 8 ½ x 11 sheet of paper, state: “If you or someone you know is being forced to engage in any activity and cannot leave, whether it is commercial sex, housework, farm work, or any other activity, call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center hotline at 1-888-373-7888 to access help and services.” Employers must post this information in English, Louisiana French, and Spanish.
Employers who fail to display the poster may be fined up $50 to $500 for the first offense, $250 to $1000 for the second offense (if occurring within three years of the first offense), or $500 to $2500 for the third offense (if occurring within three years of the first offense).
The poster should be displayed along with all other workplace posters, including the new Fair Labor Standards Act and Polygraph Protection Act Posters, which were recently updated by the U.S. Department of Labor.